Microsoft Xbox 360

9.0
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Reviewed by Branhower (Currently owns)

The console I bought right after it launched lasted me a good 4 years. Not a bad run for the rumored failure rate. I bought a used unit on eBay and it had HDMI! Always a nice plus.

The difference in design between the newer "S" model and the model I have really turn out to be a wash. I personally like the older console in terms of outward appearance, but the newer console has internal Wifi. Backwards-compatibility comes at a cost though with the new design; since all the old peripherals no longer work (except memory cards and controllers).

Microsoft has always been at the top of the software game. Streaming media from your computer and media players has been supported since day one, and since then; they have added many features, including streaming from popular online media services, buying games online, and plenty of settings to cater to all forms of content and displays. The updates are great as well; the newest one bringing the Metro UI is my all-time favorite.

Not only is game selection great on store shelve; but Live Arcade games and their online store make variety intense and availability a non-issue. I would recommend buying games in the store or on Live Arcade only if you have slow broadband internet.

The controller design is great too, there's no need to stretch your left thumb to reach the left joystick; the control often used for movement in games. This makes play more comfortable. Performance for a current-gen console is on-par, but these newer games are really demonstrating the need for a new generation. Battlefield 3 being the glaring example.

The major drawback for this version of the system though is the noise made. I have plugged this thing into home theaters and still heard the fans whirring over the sounds coming from games. The DVD-ROM drive is pretty loud too, but this can be countered by putting games on the hard drive.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 9
  • Software 10
  • Game selection 10
  • Controls 9
  • Performance 8
  • Heat / noise 6
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